Winery: Va La Vineyards
Grapes: Nebbiolo (Blend of 11 clones)
Appellation: Pennsylvania (Chester County)
Cost: $54 (vintage 2019)

Description: Nose evokes the name – cedar – with tobacco and underlying earth. As it opens, the wine manages to bridge a gap between bold and elegant, something to be expected from Piedmont Nebbiolo, but not typically PA. Benefits from lots of air.

Why it’s a Benchmark PA Wine: Winemakers worldwide have tried for decades to make Nebbiolo work outside of northwest Italy, and mostly failed. But here in this little spot in Chester County, Va La manages to produce something special. (In part this comes from the mythical “Ghost,” a fog that emanates from the mushroom compost lot next door.) In the end, it’s a funky, odd wine that’s extremely interesting and complex, illustrating that PA can do more than just mimic other regions.